Red Carpet Manicure…

Confession time. I have never had acrylic nails or a gel manicure. Partly because I used to be scared that it might damage my nails and partly because I don’t lied the really thick look of acrylics. Gel manicures however I love, I just haven’t taken the plunge because I’m lucky and have strong nails that polish seems to last one. However, I know that for many people with weak or brittle nails, or perhaps if you use your nails and hands a lot for work, gel manicures are a godsend. So when Laura Lawson told me about her new home kit for DIY gel manicures, I asked her to share her thoughts – it’s a perfect present for Santa to put under the Christmas tree 🙂

Since my first gel manicure at the start of the year, I was hooked. I was so used to having to re-do chipped nails every few days, that the idea that they could look perfect and super shiny for a few weeks blew my mind!

Image credit: Lawson Photography

The process isn’t miles away from a regular manicure, the nails are painted – base coat, 2 coats of colour and a top coat – but in between each coat the gel is cured under a UV light rather than air drying. This means when it’s finished, it’s totally dry and you don’t have to walk around like a crazy woman trying not to touch anything (which unfortunately means there’s no excuse not to wash up!).

Image credit: Lawson Photography

Removing them is a bit of a fiddle; they’re buffed, covered in a blob of cotton wool soaked in nail varnish remover, and each finger/thumb wrapped in foil for ten minutes. Then they pretty much slide off with an orange stick. I was a bit worried that my natural nails underneath would be ruined (like when you have acrylics), but I’ve found that as long as you soak them for long enough before removing so you’re not peeling them off, and use plenty of cuticle oil generally, your natural nails stay healthy and happy.

Image credit: Lawson Photography

Now for the negative – they’re so EXPENSIVE! I knew I couldn’t get away with spending £50 every three weeks on pretty hands, this would have to be ‘special occasions only’. Then I heard about Red Carpet Manicure. DIY gel manicure kits, complete with all you need (including the light to cure it) and lots of lovely colours of LED polish. For the price of a couple of professional manicures, I could get a kit and do my own – it was worth a try!

Image credit: Lawson Photography

I LOVE it! I got the professional LED kit, which includes: professional LED light, a pre & post application cleanser, a sanitizer, base coat gel, top coat gel, nail polish remover, nourishing cuticle oil, and a lovely classic bright red polish (Red Carpet Reddy). There’s lots of goodies on the Red Carpet Manicure website – gems and jewels kit, French manicure kit, and a big range of nail colours. I’ve been adding to my collection, my latest favourite is ‘Draped in rubies’, a gorgeous deep red with sparkles reminiscent of Dorothy’s shoes, very festive!

Image credit: Lawson Photography

Once you’ve mastered the hands, you have to give it a try on your feet; it lasts forever! 🙂


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5 thoughts on “Red Carpet Manicure…

  1. I think they look perfect and I love the shiny look that you just cant get with a normal top coat but Im like Rebecca, a bit funny about the condition of my nails. The soak of would drive me potty and I like to change my colour alot!

  2. This is right up my street! I always have painted nails but find it annoying to do them every few days so am often sporting am ever so chic chipped look.

    This is going on my christmas list!

  3. I am a total gel-manicure-a-holic (got an appointment on Monday for gels to last me throughout the whole holiday season and I know they will!) Really like how they don’t stain your nails underneath (normal polishes always do that on me, even with a basecoat). I love the idea of being able to do them myself at home, this kit is brilliant! Like Gemma- I WANT.

  4. Like Gemma and Anita, I also want. This looks fab!

    I too am a lover of gel nails and the shiny finish they give. I was looking for a quick fix rather than having the manicure and a friend recommend the Seche Vite top coat to me, it’s about £7.

    I’m wearing it for the first time this week, and can confirm that it’s lasted 5 days so far and my nails aren’t chipped and still going strong! Extra bonus – it gives a similar shiny finish to the gel manicures 😉


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